Conservation & Sustainable Outdoor Recreation
Growing our resource of protected wildlands with trail access, for the well-being of all.
Vermont’s expanding system of trails, backcountry huts and community forests on conserved land is helping to boost rural economies and build climate-change resilience.
These nonprofits are helping more of us enjoy and appreciate Vermont’s beautiful backcountry through healthy, human-powered recreation.
Catamount Trail Association
The Catamount Trail Association opens up Vermont’s winter wonders to thousands, while stewarding and protecting America’s longest backcountry ski trail:
- Volunteers help to maintain the 300-plus miles of Catamount Trail, and to make it more resilient to climate change.
- With the central goal of permanently protecting the entire trail, the CTA partners with other organizations to conserve critical mountain lands and expand Vermont’s network of managed backcountry zones.
- CTA Ski Cub programs, focusing especially on underserved and New American communities, give over 500 young people the chance each year to experience cross-country skiing. Through Ski Cubs, free ski tours and special events, the CTA helps make thousands of skier days possible every winter.
Vermont Mountain Bike Association
With 29 chapters, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association supports more than 900 miles of public-access singletrack trail:
- From 2016 to 2021 alone, VMBA membership grew by more than 900% — and its 9,500-plus members are just a fraction of the total numbers now enjoying this human-powered outdoor sport, all over Vermont.
- At more than 200 “dig days,” VMBA chapters host volunteer crews that give over 15,000 hours to building, maintaining and upgrading its sustainably built trails.
- The Association delivers centralized, unified advocacy for mountain biking in Vermont, while returning more than 90% of membership revenue to its chapters through direct and indirect support.
Vermont Huts Association
The Vermont Huts Association is working to create a network of overnight accommodations in the backcountry — huts, cabins, lodges and yurts that can enhance our outdoor adventures:
- From Rupert to the Northeast Kingdom, backcountry huts in growing numbers are hosting multi-day adventures for Vermonters and visitors alike. To build and open more facilities, VHA works with other organizations and public agencies — including the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, and the Green Mountain National Forest.
- VHA’s FOREST (Fostering Outdoor Recreation, Education, Sustainability and Teamwork) Program brings young people from underrepresented communities into the outdoors for free, multi-day outdoor adventures, rich with learning and team-building, all free of charge.
- VHA, the Velomont Trail Collective and the Trust for Public Land are together developing the new Velomont Trail, linking up mountain-bike networks and backcountry facilities — so riders can enjoy long-distance adventures, while visiting, dining and staying at Vermont towns and villages along the trail.